World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States has allocated $40 million to assist relief agencies aiding victims of the Syrian crisis, the Department of State has said. “The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need,” the Department said in a statement.
The U.S. assistance includes “food, clean water, basic health care, and medical and other emergency relief supplies.” The statement also praised the governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq for keeping their countries’ borders open for Syrian refugees.
The United Nations said weeks ago that more than 9000 people had been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. Syrian activists have reported hundreds of new deaths in the past few weeks, including those reported during a ceasefire that has been officially in place in Syria since mid-April.
Earlier this week, UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan who brokered a peace plan to end the 14-month conflict warned that the country was on the brink of a “full civil war” as violence continued despite the presence of UN-backed international monitors tasked with observing the truce.
On Thursday, at least 55 people, mostly civilians, were killed and some 370 injured in two powerful blasts that rocked a highway near the Syrian capital, Damascus, during morning peak hour.
Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday Moscow would not change its position on Syria despite pressure from outside.
“There are people who want to put pressure on us to change our position. We will not concede to this pressure,” he said. Russia and China have twice vetoed the UN Security Council resolutions over what they called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the Syrian uprising, but have given their full backing to Annan’s peace plan.
A gunman killed seven people Thursday night in four separate locations in the U.S. state of Missouri before turning the gun on himself
Arab countries and Western states this month evacuated their embassies in Sanaa following a power grab by the Houthis
A spokesman for Turkey's Foreign Ministry said "Instead of repeating the same baseless and untrue allegations we advise them to support U.N. efforts for political dialogue"
The one-day talks, led by senior diplomats, stem from the decision announced by the two Cold War era foes on Dec. 17 to work to normalize relations
Year 2014 saw China moving away from internationally recognized norms in relation to civil and political rights, despite being urged to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Protesters waved green-and-red national flags and chanted a song whose words included a call to "stand in defence of the constitution".
The casualties have taken place in three separate attacks across the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned the partial torching of a Greek-Orthodox seminary in West Jerusalem
Muslim organizations in Europe have criticised a new law approved by the Austrian parliament, which aims to revise a historic law on the status of Muslims.
Egypt hopes the conference will bring in some $20 billion worth of investments.
Leading members of the Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad movements led the protest, in which protesters waved Palestinian flags and shouted, "Down with Zionist terrorism"
"Some seem sensitive to this argument," Laurent Fabius and Philip Hammond wrote. "In reality, Bashar represents injustice, chaos and terror. We, France and Britain, say no to all three."
BMKG, Indonesia's meteorological agency, said the quake occurred in the middle of the ocean about 104 km northwest of East Flores.
Peshmerga forces prevent Arabs from returning to their homes in disputed territories claimed by Erbil and Baghdad, according to Human Rights Watch.
The capture of Tel Hamis was announced by the Kurdish YPG militia and confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country's civil war.